Monday, July 15, 2024

Triple strike cripples Hollywood; ‘Gladiator 2’, ‘Mortal Kombat 2’, ‘White Lotus 3’ on pause

As a historic dual strike by the WGA (Writers Guild of America) and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), last endured in 1960, gets ready to bring the global film and TV industry to its knees, the worst-case scenario many have dreaded for months is fast becoming a crushing reality, ‘Variety’ reports.

Talks between the US actors’ union and Hollywood’s collective bargaining agent, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, broke down on Wednesday after a turbulent 12-day period of extended negotiations.

At midnight (US Pacific Time), both sides concluded talks without reaching an agreement, thus triggering a strike vote by the SAG-AFTRA National Board for Thursday morning.

A strike is expected to be called, and the union will direct its 160,000 members to immediately stop all scripted film and TV work around the world.

Major international shoots set to pause production due to the actors strike include the Paul Mescal and Pedro Pascal-starring ‘Gladiator 2’ movie, which was filming in Morocco, and martial arts sequel ‘Mortal Kombat 2’, which was filming in Australia, ‘Variety’ notes.

‘Gladiator 2’ is not the only Ridley Scott venture in trouble. FX’s ‘Alien’, a series adaptation of the ‘Alien’ franchise written by Noah Hawley and Ridley Scott, is currently in pre-production in Thailand. Sources indicated to ‘Variety’ that the show will be a large-scale undertaking that reportedly booked out multiple Bangkok studios and hired vast quantities of lighting equipment.

The Sky and Peacock series ‘The Day of the Jackal’, starring Eddie Redmayne and Lashana Lynch, has been shooting around Central and Eastern Europe and is also likely to take a break.

Season 3 of HBO’s ‘White Lotus’ series is also slated to shoot in Thailand — another major shoot that would almost certainly employ SAG-AFTRA members. While the show is already paused due to the writers strike, the impact of an actors strike — which could muddle talent schedules in the future — means it could be delayed even further, ‘Variety’ adds.

In recent weeks, according to ‘Variety’, international productions led by SAG-AFTRA talent have worked furiously to wrap filming ahead of a potential strike.

Sky drama ‘Mary & George’, featuring Julianne Moore, completed its U.K. shoot earlier this summer, while Season 2 of Prime Video‚Äôs big-budget — and meticulously scheduled — ‘Rings of Power’ also wrapped a few weeks back, ‘Variety’ can confirm.

In France, Jacques Audiard’s musical thriller ‘Emilia Perez’, starring Selena Gomez and Zoe Saldana, wrapped filming just last week in Paris.

Sources told ‘Variety’ that Roland Emmerich’s high-profile gladiator series ‘Those About to Die’, starring Anthony Hopkins, completed filming its scenes with the Welsh actor in Italy weeks ago in anticipation of strike action.

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